The Groveport Madison High School football team is still searching for its first victory.

The Cruisers lost to host Newark 14-0 on Oct. 13 and are 0-8 overall and 0-3 in the OCC-Capital Division heading into their home finale Friday, Oct. 20, against Big Walnut.

The Golden Eagles are 3-5 overall and 3-0 in the league after beating New Albany 14-0 on Oct. 13. They have won three consecutive games after losing their first five.

The Cruisers continue to struggle offensively, as they are averaging only 8.5 points. Against Newark, Wayne Blackshear rushed for 60 yards on 17 carries and quarterback Colin Rice was 15-for-37 passing for 106 yards as the Cruisers totaled 175 yards. Elyjah Aekins had nine catches for 49 yards.

Groveport converted just two of 15 third downs and only one of nine fourth downs against the Wildcats.

Defensively, the Cruisers allowed just 208 total yards and forced a fumble, although Newark running back D'ante Woods rushed for 176 yards and a touchdown on 42 carries to become the Wildcats' all-time leading rusher.

Jasiyah Robinson led Groveport's defense with nine tackles, including two for loss, and JaShaun McGraw had 8.5 tackles. Skyler Mouser and Jaylon Jackson had seven tackles apiece.

The Cruisers are allowing 29.6 points per game, while Big Walnut is averaging 17.6 points.

Against New Albany, Golden Eagles quarterback Tyler Ronk ran for 130 yards on 19 carries and fullback Nathan Lawyer had a pair of 2-yard touchdown runs.

Big Walnut, which is allowing 24 points per game, limited New Albany to 81 total yards.

Nanthavong ends season at district

Junior Preston Nanthavong of the boys golf team shot an 80 to tie for 29th of 72 golfers in the Division I district tournament Oct. 10 at Apple Valley.

"I wasn't too happy with that, and I just wasn't hitting the ball well," Nanthavong said. "I never got into a rhythm. I went 40-40. I had a double bogey on No. 3 and I had one birdie. I didn't give myself many birdie opportunities because I wasn't hitting my irons well.

"It was a bit of a choppy season for me. I started off pretty poor, but played real well in the final two (OCC-Capital) rounds. I had a decent sectional round."

Thomas Worthington's David LaLonde (73) won a playoff at district to earn the second and final individual berth for the state tournament Friday, Oct. 20, and Saturday, Oct. 21, at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.

Nanthavong advanced to district for the second year in a row by shooting a 79 in a sectional Oct. 3 at Clover Valley. His score tied for 10th in a field of 64 golfers and tied for second among the four individual district qualifiers.

Also competing at sectional was sophomore Ricky Cooper, who placed 57th with a 124.

Nanthavong earned first-team all-OCC-Capital honors after finishing the four-round league tournament with the fifth-best average (80.3).

New Albany (20-0) won the OCC-Capital title, ahead of Big Walnut (16-4), Canal Winchester (12-8) and Newark (8-12). Groveport and Franklin Heights did not have team scores in any of the rounds.

Nanthavong and Cooper were the only two on the Cruisers' roster.

Cross country teams prepping for district

The boys and girls cross country teams will compete in the Division I district meet Saturday, Oct. 21, at Watkins Memorial.

The boys team is in district 2 and the girls are in district 1. In both races, the top five teams and top 20 runners qualify for the regional meet Oct. 28, at Pickerington North.

Both teams competed in the OCC-Capital meet Oct. 14 at Lancaster.

Peyton Baker finished fifth in 17 minutes, 43.2 seconds, as the boys team placed fifth (121 points), behind Newark (31), New Albany (35), Canal Winchester (79) and Big Walnut (102). Franklin Heights did not have a team score.

Also scoring for the Cruisers were Eli Jackson (30th, 19:48.32), Thomas Gullatt (32nd, 20:00.24), Jason Pinkston (33rd, 20:03.21) and Demani Lane (44th, 21:02.33).

The girls team also placed fifth (126), behind New Albany (40), Big Walnut (46), Canal Winchester (56) and Newark (109). Franklin Heights did not have a team score.

Melanie Torres finished 14th (22:31.53) to lead the Cruisers, followed by Brianna Chan (35th, 24:48.48), Victoria Williams (40th, 25:50.42), Cherub Clarke (46th, 26:42.19) and Gracia Musa (52nd, 27:01.84).

Boys soccer team opens tourney

The boys soccer team was 9-3-4 overall before playing host to 28th-seeded Pickerington Central on Oct. 18 in the first round of the Division I district tournament.

The winner plays at fourth-seeded St. Charles in the second round Saturday, Oct. 21.

The second-round winner faces 10th-seeded Hilliard Darby, 24th-seeded Big Walnut or 37th-seeded Columbus West in a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 25, at a neutral site to be determined. The district final is Oct. 28.

Groveport, which is seeded 26th of 47 teams, lost to Big Walnut 3-0 on Oct. 10 in its regular-season finale to finish 1-3-1 in the OCC-Capital. The Cruisers have not played St. Charles, Darby or West this season.

Tourney begins for girls soccer team

The girls soccer team played host to 36th-seeded Logan on Oct. 16 in the first round of the Division I district tournament.

The winner plays at sixth-seeded Olentangy in the second round Thursday, Oct. 19.

The second-round winner faces 18th-seeded Westerville North or 38th-seeded Big Walnut in a district semifinal Tuesday, Oct. 24, at a neutral site to be determined. The district final is Oct. 28.

Groveport, which is seeded 32nd of 42 teams, was 6-10 overall after beating Tree of Life 2-0 on Oct. 14 in its regular-season finale. The Cruisers lost to Big Walnut 9-0 on Oct. 10 to finish 1-4 in the OCC-Capital but have not played Olentangy or North this season.

Postseason underway for volleyball team

The girls volleyball team played host to 39th-seeded Licking Heights on Oct. 16 in the first round of the Division I district tournament.

The winner played at fifth-seeded Pickerington North on Oct. 18 in a second-round match. That winner advanced to a district semifinal Wednesday, Oct. 25, at Whitehall, where it likely will face top-seeded Dublin Coffman.

Groveport, which is seeded 37th of 50 teams, was 8-12 overall before playing Licking Heights and finished 2-8 in the OCC-Capital.

bemerine@thisweeknews.com

@Brad_ThisWeek